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Up to Speed: Boat rentals grow in popularity across Tampa Bay

Many want to get out on a boat, but not everyone can afford one. Here’s one popular way some people are making it happen without breaking the bank.

TAMPA, Fla — Getting out on the water on a boat in Tampa Bay is becoming more popular thanks in part to what some are calling the Airbnb of boats.

“GetMyBoat is a great platform for people who want to rent boats or book a captained boat charter for whether it's one weekend day or multiple days,” said Val Streif from the rental company.

The service is a mobile app and the world’s largest boat rental. It also provides options in Tampa Bay. Streif says there are more than 400 boats available for people to rent locally every day. You can have your pick from everything from luxury yachts to Pontoon boats, Jet skis, large deck boats, and more.

Prices range from as low as $75 an hour to a couple hundred an hour for a chartered boat.

“Groups of families will get together and split the cost of a larger boat, so it ends up being a very affordable activity. Much more affordable than buying your own boat. Sometimes these marina or boat clubs can be quite costly as well,” Streif said.  

Tampa Bay has a bevy of boat rental services similar to this one, making the Airbnb of boats idea quite popular.

If you own a boat and you’re looking to make extra money, you can list it.

Before you set sail, Florida law requires a boating safety education course. You can avoid that if you rent a boat with a captain. Not an option for everyone, but something to consider if you’re sailing with a larger group.

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